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We are one ... Boston Strong

Banner Staff | 4/24/2013, 8:14 a.m.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama shared a somber moment at the Interfaith and Healing Service last Thursday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston Mayor’s Office

The attack on the Boston Marathon blew away the city’s traditional personal reserve and revealed the full measure of “Boston Strong.” With little regard for their own safety, people ran toward the blasts to provide comfort and first  aid to those who were injured. Angered by the attempted desecration of Boston’s historic dual holiday, Patriots’ Day and the 117-year-old marathon, every citizen became determined to assist in the capture of the terrorists.

Gov. Deval Patrick emerged as an extraordinary battlefield commander. His inspiring words during the religious service in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross reminded Bostonians that “Massachusetts invented America.” Patrick’s speech and his demeanor strengthened the resolve of citizens to apprehend those who slayed four innocents and injured more than 170 people.

In an unprecedented demonstration of public support, people submitted to law officials hundreds of photos taken at the finish line area in an effort to identify the terrorists. This strategy worked. In short order the Tsarnaev brothers were identified as suspects when their photos were published. They went quickly from successful bombers to the nation’s most wanted fugitives.

After a shootout in Cambridge near MIT, the brothers drove to Watertown, where one was fatally injured and the surviving brother went undercover. To facilitate police work, Gov. Patrick requested citizens in Greater Boston to stay home from work and he asked that non-essential businesses stay closed. With an exceptional display of “Boston Strong” cooperation, the Boston area looked like a ghost town last Friday. Even though Patrick had no legal authority to require such a response, Bostonians were not at all intimidated by the threat of danger; they were cooperating with law enforcement.

Soon after the lockdown was lifted late on Friday, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested. He is now recuperating at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and will face American justice. Bostonians were jubilant over the rapid and efficient response of law enforcement agencies. Of course people were also aware that the “Boston Strong” attitude played a major role.

How much greater Boston can become if we learn from these horrendous Patriots’ Day events that we are really very much concerned about one another. Let us work together in the spirit of 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, who died in the marathon blast. His saintly entreaty in a sign he made for school is that there be “no more hurting people.”